State of Florida Archives: on Government Reform


Ted Yoho: Regulate campaign contributions

Q: Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?

A: Yes.

Source: Florida Congressional Election 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

George LeMieux: Opposed thousands of earmarks during time in Senate

LeMieux built quite a conservative resume for himself in his short stint in the U.S. Senate. He voted against ObamaCare and against raising the debt ceiling on more than one occasion, and opposed thousands of earmarks. He touts the fact that during his short time of service he proposed more spending cuts than all but one of the members of the Senate. He notes that he voted to cut federal spending by $900 billion and voted to terminate TARP and use any remaining finds t
Source: SouthernPoliticalReport.com on 2012 Florida Senate debate May 17, 2012

Rick Scott: Free speech includes financially supporting candidates

Source: Florida Gubernatorial 2010 PVS Political Courage Test Nov 3, 2010

Rick Scott: Reducing Tallahassee's unnecessary costs

Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website, rickscottforflorida.com Aug 19, 2010

Kendrick Meek: Sought earmarks for blighted area which benefited a donor

Greene highlighted Meek's connection to a Miami developer facing criminal charges who had paid Meek's mother, former US Rep. Carrie Meek, $90,000 as a consultant & gave her a Cadillac Escalade. Meek sought federal earmarks for the developer's inner-city project, and said his efforts were about reviving a blighted neighborhood and had nothing to do with his mother.

"Do you intend, if you're a US Senator, to continue to have your family members get cars, money, other kinds of benefits and then go ask for earmarks for the people providing these benefits?" Greene asked Meek. Meek unsuccessfully sought $4 million in federal money for the project and said he didn't know the developer had hired his mother.

Greene called on Meek to follow the lead of embattled NY Rep. Charlie Rangel: "If nothing's wrong, why wouldn't you ask for a House Ethics Commission to clear your name," Greene asked. Responded Meek: "If they felt anything was wrong I would have been before the ethics committee long ago."

Source: 2010 Florida Dem. Primary Debate, Miami Herald & P.B.Post Aug 10, 2010

Kendrick Meek: Drafted 70 bills in Congress; some got merged into law

Greene taunted Meek for drafting 70 bills in his eight years in Congress with none of them passing, concluding that Meek had a scant record as a congressman.

Meek offered a detailed parliamentary response about how bills merge in the committee process, saying many of his legislative ideas were incorporated into committee bills that didn't bear his name.

Source: 2010 Florida Dem. Primary Debate, Miami Herald & S.S.News Aug 10, 2010

Jeb Bush: Legislative term limits strengthened Bush's executive power

Term limits were enacted in Florida in 1992 and, by a stroke of good fortune for the governor, became effective just as Bush took office, forcing out of the 2000 legislature more than half of the experienced members. This change had an effect similar to that in other states, emptying the legislature of experience and forcing green legislators to struggle with issues so complex that by the time they began to understand them, it was time for them to leave.

Throughout history, the state legislature has been viewed as the dominant political institution in Florida and in the 1980s was described as one of the strongest legislatures in the nation. Within a few years of Bush taking office, this dominance was reversed. The transformation was aided by term limits. Lobbyists and the executive office were the real winners in this environment and term limits gave Bush additional influence over the legislature.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by R. Crew, p.19 & 64-65 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: OpEd: Foundation for Florida's Future hides campaign donors

The Foundation for Florida's Future did keep Bush in the public eye, but at some cost. It generated controversy for Bush on two issues. First, the foundation was attacked for failure to identify those who had made financial contributions, suggesting that they were simply disguised campaign contributions. Secondly, it was criticized for the proportion of its funds it devoted to programmatic concerns.

The FFF raised more than $1.7 million in 1995 & 1996, primarily in $5,000 amounts. While the foundation released the names of its donors, it did so only in general categories related to the size of their donation. Thus in 1995 FFF released the names of 131 donors of $5,000 or more, but would not connect name to specific amounts. [That left] reporters to ask, "Who gave $50,000, a sum 100 times greater than the $500 limit for the Bush re-election campaign?"

Jeb's foundation was also criticized for devoting far less of its resources to programmatic concerns than to administration.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 10 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Refused to fund state agency requests for specific services

An overarching principle for governmental conservatives and for Jeb Bush was restraint in state spending. For Governor Bush this principle was defined as holding spending growth below the growth of personal income in the state. As the governor said, "the system is geared toward spending money. That's what this whole process is about. I just don't think government, as a matter of course, should grow faster than people's ability to pay for it." Bush pursued this goal relentlessly, using a wide variety of strategies: pressure on agency heads to limit annual budgetary requests, arbitrarily capping the monies that could be raised from service fees that were to be used for dedicated purposes such as affordable housing; and simply refusing to fund requests from agency heads for particular services, for example, beds for county jail inmates who had severe mental illnesses.
Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 26 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Mature society can empty government buildings of workers

Like other governmental conservatives, Governor Bush disliked and distrusted government and promoted the idea that smaller government--combined with more privatizing of governmental services--was more efficient government. He argued that "the most efficient, effective and dynamic government is one composed primarily of policymakers, procurement experts and contract managers." He expressed his general philosophy about government in his 2003 Inaugural Address when he stated that "There would be no greater tribute to our maturity as a society than if we make these [governmental] buildings around us empty of workers, monuments to a time when government played a larger role than it deserve or could adequately fill."

With this philosophy guiding his actions, Bush worked to diminish the credibility of government in Florida, to reduce its size and scope, and to make it more accountable to political overseers.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 30 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Judges should respect primacy of Legislature & Executive

The governor's effort to improve his influence over the appointment of Florida judges was driven by a desire to change what Bush believed was an improper, liberal judicial philosophy. But there was also ongoing hostility among Florida Republicans about the role they played by the judiciary in the American system of checks and balances. Bush and other Republicans regularly lamented the fact that public policy was made not only in the executive and legislative branches, but also in the judicial branch of government.

Bush personally distanced himself from the position held by generations of constitutional authorities that the three branches of government were co-equals. Bush pushed his position so intensely that the president of the Florida Bar questioned whether he believed in the separation of powers doctrine. Pursuing his own version of this doctrine, Bush promised to appoint judges who would respect "the primacy of the legislative and the executive as policymakers."

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 61 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Asked judicial candidates: Are you a God-fearing churchgoer?

When filling judicial position, Governor Bush and his appointees were criticized for using criteria unrelated to fitness to serve on the bench as standards for appointment.

Several judicial candidates complained to a Miami newspaper that they had been subjected to a series of inappropriate questions by one of these commissions, including whether they were active in their church, whether they thought they were "God-fearing people," how they felt about the US Supreme Court `s 2003 ruling to strike down a Texas law criminalizing homosexual activity, and how they would feel about having the Ten Commandments posted in their courtrooms. One candidate, an assistant county attorney, was also asked whether she "would be able to balance her duties as a single mother of twins with her duties as a judge."

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 62 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: 2004: Purged felons list from eligible voters

Governor Bush and his allies also continued throughout 2004 their efforts to purge the "felons list" of ineligible voters. The governor dismissed complaints from the media and the public about the felons list and refused to open it to public scrutiny, in what many perceived as another effort to depress minority voting. Ultimately, a lawsuit was filed by Florida newspapers and a Florida judge forced the state to reveal the voters list.

In reviewing the list, news organizations discovered that only 61 Hispanic voters were listed, but over 20,000 African American names were present. Hispanics in Florida, particularly Cubans, are more likely to vote Republican than Democratic and Africa Americas are heavily Democratic. Critics argued that this was proof that the governor & his allies had intentionally used the list for partisan purposes. The governor and his secretary of state claimed that the small number of Hispanic voters on the list was a function of a computer problem that they had been unaware of.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p. 96-97 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: 2005: Achieved goal of restraining growth in spending

As a proponent of small government, Governor Bush advocated slow growth in spending and smaller state budgets and his tax policy was designed to produce low levels of revenue per capita. An analysis of state spending over the time period 1999 through 2005 shows that the governor achieved his goal of restraining growth in that spending.

Over the 8 years of the Bush administration, state expenditures for all government activities increased by an average of 3.8% per year in 2000 dollars. Further, there was virtually no change in the level of state spending as a percentage of Florida's gross state product, or GSP, between 1998 and 2006. In addition, the governor was able (barely) to redeem his pledge to keep spending growth below growth in the personal income of the state's residents. In June 2006, the state had 43.6% more spending than when Bush took office and 46.5% more personal income. In absolute terms, then, the governor's spending growth goals were realized.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.106 Dec 11, 2009

John McCain: More sunshine on the Working Group on Financial Markets

Q: If you kept the Working Group on Financial Markets, would you make sure we would see some sunlight and know what theyíre doing and how theyíre being involved in our markets?

A: Obviously weíd like to see more sunshine. But I as president, rely primarily on my secretary of the Treasury, on my Council of Economic Advisers, on the head of that. I would rely on the circle that I have developed over many years. I have a process of leadership that is sort of an inclusive one that I have developed.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

John McCain: FactCheck: $35B in pork meant $484 per child, not $1000

McCain chose his comparisons unwisely when discussing government pork, saying, ďThe president signed into law, two years in a row, pork barrel-laden bills, $35 billion worth of pork. We could have given a $1,000 tax credit for every child in America for that $35 billion. Instead we chose a bridge to nowhere.Ē

Itís not clear where McCain is getting the $35 billion figure. But thatís more pork than the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste has diagnosed in the budget for any one year of the Bush presidency: The highest amount the group has calculated is $29 billion in 2006. Perhaps McCain meant $35 billion in two years: the smallest two-year sum was $38.6 billion in 2001 and 2002.

Even if we assume $35 billion in pork, however, McCain mus be defining ďchildĒ rather narrowly. According to the 2000 Census, there are about 72 million people under the age of 18, which would come to about $484 each. To apportion $35 billion in $1000 chunks, youíd have to leave out some elementary-schoolers.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mitt Romney: Use my own money in a campaign to try and change the US

Iíve been successful in life, enough to be able to save enough money. Iím using that money in a campaign for a presidency to try and change this country. Iím concerned about the US my kids will inherit and their kids will inherit and the kids of the entire nation will inherit, and I want to make sure that we have a strong and vibrant nation. I happen to think that at a time like this, we need someone whose life has been in the private sector, who knows how the US works; not just how Washington works
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Mitt Romney: Not concerned about voters on his campaign self-contribution

Q: Why not tell the voters how much of your own wealth youíre spending so they can factor that into their own decision?

A: Iím not concerned about the voters. Iím much more concerned about the other guys on this stage. Itís competitive information we make sure that we use for our own benefit. I made a substantial contribution. I canít imagine having gone to my friends and asked them to do what theyíve done, going out and raising money in my behalf, without saying Iím going to put some of my contributions behind this effort as well, because frankly, itís important. Given the contributions I made in this race, I know I owe no one anything. I donít have some group there that I have a special obligation to that raised money for me. Iím by far the biggest contributor to my own campaign. People can count on the fact that thereís no nobody that can call me and say, ďHey, look, you owe me,Ē because they donít.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida Jan 24, 2008

Fred Thompson: Tort reform ok for liability lawsuits; leave rest to states

GIULIANI: Fred was the single biggest obstacle to tort reform in the US Senate. He stood with Democrats over and over again. He voted against $250,000 caps on damages, which they have in Texas. He voted against almost anything that would make our legal system fairer: loser pays rules, things that would prevent lawsuits like that $54 million lawsuit by that guy who lost his pants--you know? That cost that family $100,000 in legal fees. I think the man should have to pay the family for the $100,000. Fred Thompson, along with very few Republicans, blocked tort reform over and over and over again.

THOMPSON: I supported tort reform with regard to securities legislation. I supported tort reform with regard to product liability legislation, things that have to do with interstate commerce. I think it appropriately passed. I supported and worked for those things. Local issues belong at the state level. Most states have passed tort reform. Thatís our system. Itís not all federalized.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Supports tort reform like ďloser paysĒ rule

GIULIANI: Fred was the single biggest obstacle to tort reform in the US Senate. He stood with Democrats over and over again. He voted against $250,000 caps on damages, which they have in Texas. He voted against almost anything that would make our legal system fairer: loser pays rules, things that would prevent lawsuits like that $54 million lawsuit by that guy who lost his pants--you know? That cost that family $100,000 in legal fees. I think the man should have to pay the family for the $100,000. Fred Thompson, along with very few Republicans, blocked tort reform over and over and over again.

THOMPSON: I supported tort reform with regard to securities legislation. I supported tort reform with regard to product liability legislation, things that have to do with interstate commerce. I think it appropriately passed. I supported and worked for those things. Local issues belong at the state level. Most states have passed tort reform. Thatís our system. Itís not all federalized.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Tim Mahoney: Clean up corruption: No gifts. No meals. No trips.

Source: 2006 House campaign website, timmahoneyforflorida.com Nov 7, 2006

Marco Rubio: Reduce paid petition business in citizen initiative process

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future by Marco Rubio Nov 1, 2006

Marco Rubio: Allow transferring surplus campaign funds to other campaigns

Rubio voted YES on HB 1037, Campaign Financing (Passed House, 81 - 36).

State government synopsis: Allows unopposed legislative candidates to transfer surplus campaign funds to or retain such funds in a campaign account for reelection to the same office; establishes limits on the transferable amount of such funds; provides a prohibition from fundraising under certain conditions; deletes certain filing requirements for candidates for other than statewide office.

Source: Florida state legislative voting records May 2, 2006

Doris Haddock: We need fair voting, good candidates, and good citizens

The parchment document of the Constitution is not enough-we also require supportive institutions and sacred processes; we need these five things:
  1. We need fair and accurate voting systems that we can trust beyond a shadow of doubt
  2. We need worthy candidates who represent our interests and values and who are free from entangling financial obligations to special interests
  3. We need a free press that takes as a sacred trust its duty to inform the citizenry on the great and small issues of the day, regardless of the popular appeal of those stories and regardless of the profitability of providing that coverage
  4. We must be an unhurried society, with each of us given the time and resources to be active citizens, not mere mice on corporate treadmills
  5. We must be an educated people, forever students of the vital issues before us, so that, as a self-governing people, we might govern ourselves well. Our schools must produce citizens.
In many of these five areas, we are now in trouble.
Source: Speech on voter rights in Tallahassee, Florida Jun 17, 2001

Andy Martin: State campaign funding for complying with spending limits

Source: 2000 Florida Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

Jeb Bush: No campaign spending limits; no public financing

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?

A: No.

Q: Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?

A: No.

Source: 1998 Florida Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

Lois Frankel: Limit campaign contributions and campaign spending

Q: Do you support limiting individual contributions to state legislative candidates?

A: Yes.

Q: Limiting PAC contributions?

A: No.

Q: Corporate?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?

A: Yes.

Source: Florida 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Florida Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Government Reform:
  Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Gov.Brian Schweitzer(MT)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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